Last year saw several cases of an intense use of microtransactions, loot boxes and general intense monetization of fully priced games, and one that's considered among the worst was NBA 2K18. Now, publisher Take-Two has addressed the game and its reception.
In an interview with Game Informer, CEO Strauss Zelnick has explained the thinking behind the game's business model and structure.
"Unquestionably we pay attention to consumer response because we're so focused on engaging and captivating and entertaining the consumer. Any time we get feedback that is anything less than 1000 percent positive, we stop and say, what should we do differently? I think there's a small sliver of the consumer base that basically wants everything for free, we can't really help those people. I think most consumers just want a fair deal and we do think that part of a fair deal is, you know when you get the check at the end of the meal, it's not enough that the food tasted good, it has to be a fair deal for what you got. So we're very focused on it being more than a fair deal, we want to give consumers much more than they paid for."
A fairly standard corporate answer, and want Zelnick isn't taking into account is that the people complaining "who want everything for free" paid full price for NBA 2K18, $60 or equivalent, and didn't expect to have to pay more to enjoy the game they bought. Whether the criticism had the desired effect or not will be seen in NBA 2K19.
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